A soft sighing moan suddenly surprised the violet-eyed pilot and Duo moved quickly to see if it was from the boy he held loosely in his arms or not.
While there was no evidence whatsoever that the injured boy was awake, this was the first sound Duo knew Wufei had made since being hurt and it meant that he was no longer beyond all reach. The Chinese pilot appeared to be wavering in and out of unconsciousness, but it was an improvement.
Duo leapt from the bed and tore from the room, calling loudly, "TROWA!!! HEERO!!! Guys, come quick!"
Trowa heard the shout and came straight from the shower, dripping wet yet wearing some of Duo's clothes. "What?!? What happened, Duo?!?"
Heero was right on his heels and just stood waiting to hear the news, knowing full well his usually vocal lover would tell them immediately.
"I think Wu came out of it!" Duo very nearly tackled Trowa as he hugged the brunette fiercely. Trowa, however, seemed at least a little disappointed.
"You mean Fei woke up and I wasn't here?" Trowa asked sorrowfully.
Realizing his error, Duo backed-off and looked at him apologetically, one hand still in place on a slender shoulder. "No, Tro, that wasn't what I meant. I meant he made a little sound. Kinda like a moan or maybe a sigh or, hell, I don't really know what it sounded like, but I think he isn't out cold anymore."
"Really?" Now Trowa seemed to perk up a little. "Then he *is* getting better after all?" He offered Duo a small half-smile, then moved to sit on the bed beside the battered boy who was silent and motionless once more.
"Sounds that way. Good job, Duo," Heero offered a rare compliment. "No idea if you made any real difference, though, Trowa's the one who has put in the hard work keeping an eye on Wufei to start with."
In his fumbling way, Heero was trying to shore up Trowa's self-confidence in his self-imposed guardianship. Trowa, catching his efforts, cast him a grateful look.
"Thanks a lot, both of you, but I think I'd like to be alone with him for awhile," Trowa simply closed his eyes as if in dismissal of his friends.
"Sure," Duo nodded and pulled Heero from the room, carefully closing the door behind them both.
Once the room had quieted once more, the tall brunette slid back under the covers and snuggled close to his friend. He wrapped both slender arms around Wufei and held him close, trying to comfort both of them with his efforts.
"Oh, Fei," Trowa breathed out quietly, his gentle breath blowing the black silk hair around in wispy tendrils. "Did you really wake up? Even a little? I hope so, that was selfish of me to want to be here with you when that happened instead of just wanting you to be well. But this is all my fault and I need to be here when you *do* awaken so I can tell you I'm sorry."
A small voice in the back of his mind asked if that was all he wanted to tell the exotic boy, but he didn't answer it, the answer was too obvious now even to him.
Trowa lay beside Wufei as he wondered how long he had been interested in his Chinese comrade and how that unspoken interest had erupted into violence on the part of the usually placid Arabian pilot. Quatre had been under a great deal of pressure since his role in the war was in direct conflict with his pacifist leanings but as a group the Gundam pilots had thought he'd come to terms with it.
For the most part, Quatre and Duo were the unfailing sources of cheer among the group of four who were usually assigned to share housing for missions. Wufei had been kept separate from them for reasons none of the other pilots even knew, but it left the others together most of the time just the same. Heero and Duo had become lovers relatively early in the war, so their sharing a room had been an obvious choice.
This left the remaining two to share a bedroom on and off for the past few months, and while this simple matter of convenience never meant much to Trowa it had come to mean something it should not have to Quatre.
Unrequited love can hide in the strangest places at times.
The little blond had been enamored with the tall brunette from the start of their acquaintance. At the very beginning of the conflict, Quatre had taken Trowa into his home without so much as a second thought, and now Wufei had paid for the attraction which grew over time.
The first time the pilots of the Gundams HeavyArms and Sandrock had been together, Trowa had been quite clear in his lack of interest. Yet after he left, Quatre had mentioned to Rasid how he hoped Trowa would return even if it was with the intention of wrecking havoc on their facilities. As long as he got to see Trowa again, Quatre simply did not care about the risks or expenses.
If the quiet pilot from L-3 had known the blond was willing to risk the loss of personnel from such an assault simply to see him again, he might have gone back and made his position more clear.
But Trowa had no idea that Quatre's feelings had not dissipated and by the time he saw Quatre again, much had changed. After the disastrous mission to New Edward's Base, Trowa had followed Wufei without hesitation out of not only a desire for revenge but also simply out of interest in the mysterious oriental pilot who seemed to know far more that dark day than any of the others.
Wufei had called them all puppets of OZ and he was completely correct. Treize Khushrenada had played them for the fools and engineered the overthrow of the government of the Earth Sphere through it. The duel Wufei had fought with the ginger-haired leader of OZ had lead to personal disaster for the Chinese pilot, but it had lead to a quiet night by a campfire together for Trowa and Wufei.
Handing the defeated youth a cup of coffee over the fire had been a simple enough act, but the slight brush of fingertips as the mug was exchanged sent shivers through the taller teen which Trowa had tried valiantly to ignore. He did not feel worthy of even friendship with the intense young man much less the deeper involvement his body cried out for at that electric moment. He had never found out what Wufei had thought when it happened, the boy was up and gone from the circus before sunrise, leaving Trowa with an ache in his chest and a desire to see him again.
But time slipped away. Missions came and went and Trowa found himself sharing a room with Quatre at almost every turn.
The pilot of the Gundam HeavyArms was not surprised by the physical closeness the blond pilot had sought. Quatre would sit next to him during meals and occasionally he even leaned against him when they were all too tired to even care about getting to bed before falling asleep.
Raised among a band of mercenaries, Trowa had no expectations of privacy or even of having his need for personal space being respected. Quatre, on the other hand, had come from a very large family and he needed human contact.
His need to feel a part of a group seemed to occasionally outweigh the need for caution on infiltration assignments. Often, Trowa and Quatre would be assigned such things together and at times they masqueraded as brothers just to make sure they could watch each other's backs while downloading important information or even setting up explosives.
But when such things were over, Trowa always left feeling the same cold emptiness as he wondered what the mission might have been like with Wufei at his side instead. He had gone so far as to even express a desire once to Quatre that he be partnered with the Chinese boy and was surprised when the blond had reacted strongly.
At the time, Trowa had written it off as a brotherly concern for himself and not a negative reaction against Wufei instead. Sadly, that was exactly what Quatre was feeling. Unfounded jealousy had festered and it had reached a breaking point in the sudden explosion of violence in the safehouse.
But Trowa was not the only one hiding his feelings.
In truth, Wufei, too, had felt the electric spark pass between himself and Trowa by the campfire at the circus. It had been simple fear that caused him to flee after that night.
He had gone back to his more familiar solitude and had remained the Solitary Dragon for a great deal of time there after. It had taken quite a bit of doing to convince him to join them in this safehouse, but even Heero Yuy could see that the winds of war were shifting and the five boys were going to have to learn to work together more closely or all would be lost.
So, the Chinese boy had joined them in a safehouse which was slightly larger and actually had a third bedroom for a change. The smallest room had only one bed in it and it just seemed natural for Wufei to be given that room while Trowa shared yet another room with Quatre.
This arrangement was yet another piece in the explosive mixture which had resulted in such inappropriate violence within the circle of five pilots.